Photos by Sam Meador
My daughter took these photos when she went walking. She reached an intersection. Looking left, she saw the rows of flowers and lush landscaping. Looking right, she saw the soil not yet planted. Surprised by the stark contrast visible just by looking one way and then the other, she sent the photos.
Looking at these pictures reminds me of the many walks with one of my friends. She and I usually talk about the latest events in the world that we find distressing, share updates about our families, and encourage each other in our creative endeavors. At some point, one of us will just stop and call attention to something really beautiful that we notice.
“Look at the different shades of green in those trees,” I will say. We both pause to appreciate before continuing walking and talking.
“The sky is my favorite color of blue,” she will say. We both pause and end up talking about the shapes of the clouds or the cloudless day, just breathing in the beauty of the sky.
She will also notice the worm, still alive, crawling towards the center of the road or the bike path while we walk. When she is with me, these lucky worms get a rescue as she gently picks them up and places them in the grass.
I didn’t even see it. I wonder how she can be talking and paying attention to something so small on the ground while we walk. Our feet move over the ground which we only notice peripherally as rough or smooth, easy for walking or challenging.
I love these walks because of the expanded awareness with every pause. I find myself breathing deeper every time we stop to appreciate color in our surroundings. I am fascinated by our different perspectives.
- Pause for 10-20 seconds during a walk (or even a run) to appreciate the color of the trees, the sky, the natural world around you. Notice what happens to your breathing, your walking.